The Predators enter this game having won 12 of their past 14 games. The run is surprising given the fact they’ve endured some injuries during this span as well. They’re up to fourth in the Central now but need to keep winning, as teams like the Stars (who are five points back) have games in hand. These teams match up pretty equally on paper and the series this year is tied 3-3. The Preds have an edge in goal — where Juuse Saros ($7,500) has been dominant over the last month — and are still available at plus-money in this spot on the DK Sportsbook, despite being the home team. Expect a close game but the value here is with the Preds.
The Isles came out flat in their last game against the Rangers but have been playing well over the past couple of months, so expect their offense to bounce back today. Barzal only had two shots on net in that first game but is averaging 3.3 SOG over his past 10 games. The Rangers rank 11th in shots against, but Barzal has hit the over on this prop in four of his past six games and should be looking to be more aggressive here after a poor offensive outing in the first game of the series. The over here is worth taking on at this price.
Top Line Stacks
Pittsburgh Penguins at New Jersey Devils
Sidney Crosby ($7,600) - Bryan Rust ($6,600) - Jake Guentzel ($7,200)
The Devils are a great matchup for teams with strong first lines — and strong PP1 lines — and right now the Penguins’ first line is playing dominant hockey. Pittsburgh’s top three forwards enter this game with 38 points amongst them over the past three games, and all three have contributed to lifting Pittsburgh into 11th spot in power-play efficiency. While Pittsburgh may not be the elite of the elite on special teams, the matchup here gives them a huge boost given that the Devils rank last in penalty kill stats in the NHL.
Pittsburgh converted on two of four power play chances in the first game of this series two nights ago, and these three finished the game with eight points among them (four on the PP). It may feel like chasing points, but the matchup is too good to ignore, especially for a top-line that is as dialed in as this one is right now.
Superstar to Target
Mikko Rantanen, Colorado Avalanche at Anaheim Ducks ($7,700)
The Avs take on the Ducks tonight in a matchup where the Avs come in as massive -375 road favorites. Colorado was limited to just two goals in the first meeting between these two teams, but a bounce-back here should be expected. You can certainly pay up for one (or both) of the Avalanche’s top players, but I don’t mind taking the discount here with Rantanen and saving salary to stack in other places either. Rantanen is averaging less DKFP per game than Nathan MacKinnon ($8,900) but also has eight more goals than him on the season. Anaheim has given up the fifth-most scoring chances against this year, so the spot is a good one for Rantanen to potentially bust out with a big game. He’s hit the DK SOG bonus twice in his past four outings and should be targeted at under $8K here in this matchup.
Value on Offense
Pavel Zacha, New Jersey Devils vs. Pittsburgh Penguins ($4,000)
Zacha has been one of the lone bright spots for the Devils this season. The center is averaging over 19 minutes of ice time per game and comes in with seven points and averaging 2.6 SOG over his past 10 starts. Zacha is seeing PP1 time as well as centering a top-six line for the Devils, so his offensive opportunity is high, even though he’s on a terrible team. The Penguins’ penalty kill is ranked just 22nd, so the opportunity here for a couple cheap points exists for an underrated and valuable fantasy player.
Calle Jarnkrok, Nashville Predators vs. Dallas Stars ($3,800)
I highlighted Jarnkrok here a couple of days ago, and he promptly busted for us, but I don’t mind going back to him again for the same price. He’s getting massive opportunity, playing in the top six for the Predators with Filip Forsberg (upper body) out, and has picked up power-play points in three of his past six games. The matchup here against the Stars is much better than the last time he made this section, so the potential for a bounce back is high. Dallas has just the 18th-best penalty kill in the league, so look for him to potentially cash in for a point on the power-play again here for the surging Preds.
Juuse Saros, Nashville Predators vs. Dallas Stars ($7,500)
Saros has arguably been the MVP of the league over the past month or so. He comes into this game with eight wins over his past 10 starts and with an other-worldly .964 save percentage in those 10 starts. Saros has now also posted 20.0 or more DKFP in seven of his past 10 appearances as well, making him a near must-target when he’s priced this far under $8K. Goalies can obviously be volatile, but the Preds and Stars are near a coin flip in the odds today, and Dallas’ offense still ranks just 16th in xGF% (expected goal rate) and 18th in goals per game. Even with some massive favorites on the slate, Saros makes for a great pay-down option in net today.
Alexandar Georgiev, New York Rangers at New York Islanders ($7,300)
Assuming he gets the start here over Igor Shesterkin ($7,300), Georgiev makes for a good GPP target tonight. The Rangers have been a solid team over the last month or so and come in as winners in nine of their last 15 games. Georgiev can be inconsistent, but both of the Rangers’ goalies have also flashed great, one-game upside for fantasy purposes over the last year or so. Georgiev comes in having stopped 73 of the last 76 shots he’s faced and the Rangers are just +103 underdogs on the DraftKings Sportsbook. Taking the discount here on the Rangers starter makes for a good pay-down option in big GPPs.
Value on Defense
Brian Dumoulin, Pittsburgh Penguins at New Jersey Devils ($3,500)
Dumoulin comes into this game averaging 8.2 DKFP over his past 10 starts. The veteran is playing big minutes at over 22 minutes a night and is averaging 2.0 blocked shots per game. He has also hit the DK blocked shots bonus four times in his past 10 outings. That alone makes him a valuable target at just $3.5K and the matchup with the Devils here only adds to his potential upside. While he only has eight points on the season, four of those have come in the past four games. The Devils remain one of the poorer defensive teams in hockey and have allowed the sixth-most goals against this season. Dumoulin’s a nice floor play with more potential upside than usual in this spot.
Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche at Anaheim Ducks ($5,700)
Makar is an easy target in this spot against Anaheim. The defenseman is averaging over a point-per-game over his past 10 starts and gets a Ducks team here that hemorrhages scoring chances, raking just 21st in penalty kill stats. Regardless of whether you are going with another Colorado stud tonight at forward, Makar offers elite upside in this spot given the sub-$6K price tag. He’s hit 12.0 or more DKFP in four of his past 10 games and should be an automatic part of any Colorado PP1 stack here.
Ryan Pulock, New York Islanders at New York Rangers ($4,700)
Pulock is a good potential buy-low target here for the Islanders. The defenseman still remains without a goal on the season, which seems almost impossible given the fact he scored 10 times in 68 games last year and he legitimately has a great shot from the point. Despite the lack of goals, he’s still averaging over 9.0 DKFP over his past 10 starts and has hit the blocked shots bonus three times in that span. He gives you an easy way to get exposure to the Isles’ PP1 and is a good all-around producer who should breakthrough for a ceiling performance soon. The Rangers are a tough matchup, but the price is right to make Pulock a target.
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